ISTE Standard 2 – Supporting Collaboration Among ELLs

Question:

How can teachers of ELL students use technology to facilitate collaboration and interactions with peers?

ISTE Standard 2 explores communication and collaboration through technology.  I was interested in learning how this may benefit at-risk students, particularly English Language Learners (ELLs).

One article I found discussed a variety of technologies that educators were able to explore during an annual TESOL conference. Teachers learned about and practiced creating digital stories, podcasts, exploring Google Docs, and posting in blogs, which they could then bring to the classroom (Rance-Roney, 2008). For example, teachers may require that students use Google Docs to peer-review essays. I particularly enjoyed that this article discussed two important components to developing literacy for ELLs – English literacy and computer literacy. Students who do not have access to computers at home are at a disadvantage, so it’s important that students are given the opportunity to use and learn about a variety of technologies.

Another article reiterates many of the ideas from the first article, however, it explains in more depth the benefits to using tools like blogs, wikis, and emails (technologyforell.weebly.com, n.d.). Blogging is useful in that it helps students express ideas without the pressure of formal writing. One of the best parts of blogging is that it allows students to interact with others through reading and commenting on other blogs. The webpage Investing in the future highlights the benefits to using SMART Boards in the classroom. A SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard, which enables teachers to create more engaging, interactive, and interesting lessons. Furthermore, SMART Boards “support student collaboration opportunities” (vault.smarttech.com, 2011).

It is especially important that ELL students are afforded opportunities to collaborate with peers in order to increase their English proficiency. By utilizing technology in the classroom, we can create exciting and engaging lessons that promote collaboration, and help our students develop the skills needed to succeed in school and in the future.

References:

Rance-Roney, J. (2008). Technology in the English Language Learner Classroom? National Writing Project. Retrieved from
http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2728

Investing in the Future (2011). Retrieved from
http://vault.smarttech.com/stimulus/k-12-ell.asp

Technology Tools for ELL Students (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://technologyforell.weebly.com/collaboration-tools.html

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2 Responses to ISTE Standard 2 – Supporting Collaboration Among ELLs

  1. Hi Carden,

    Great post! I have also found that blogging is a useful way for students to express their ideas and be creative. I like the idea of blogging for ELL students because it does teach them both literacy and computer literacy. I have one ELL students in my special education classroom and we have found that writing in her journal has really helped to improve her vocabulary and language skills. I am hoping to try blogging next year with my students because I am interested to see just how creative they can get. I also want to try digital story telling. I just recently heard about this idea and think that it has many benefits. We had our students use Prezi this past school year and were really impressed with the presentations they came up with.

    Katie

    Like

    • ryderd1 says:

      Hi Katie,
      It’s so encouraging to hear that you have had success incorporating technology in your ELL class! I’m pursuing endorsements in elementary education and ELL, so it’s great to know that these technologies are truly helping students become more confident and competent. Blogging is such a fantastic way to help students become better writers and expand their vocabulary. Because of how informal blogging can be, students can focus more on expressing their ideas rather than the grammar. I also like that blogging fosters appropriate and respectful interactions with others through commenting. It’s fascinating to learn about the various tools out there that can be integrated into the curriculum to help support students.
      Thank you for your comment and thoughts about this!
      Carden

      Like

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